What Drives My Passion for Supply Chain Management?

Last week, I received the following email from a LinkedIn connection:

I hope you do not mind me sending a personal message. I enjoying reading your posts and listening to your interviews/discussion with some of the the leading companies and representatives in the SCM and logistics industry. I’d like to ask a couple questions, if you do not mind me doing so.


Given your background and experience in the subject matter, what continues to drive your enthusiasm for the industry? For me who has spent the last 20 years in the military focused on different types of ROI as they pertain to logistics planning and coordination on the battlefield, there is an excitement in translating the skills and experience from military logistics to corporate America. But once in the field and doing [it] for as long as you have, what continues to drive your passion?

Great question. First and foremost, what drives my passion for supply chain management is that I love to learn, and there is always something new to learn in this industry. Technology, regulations, business processes and models, the competitive landscape — these things are continuously changing in the industry, which opens new doors to inquiry and opportunity. It’s very difficult to be bored in supply chain management, unless you’re working at the wrong company (one that limits your creativity and quest for innovation) or supply chain management is simply not your calling — that is, your passion lies elsewhere, like poetry, medicine, cooking, or law.

Second, supply chain management is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube for the first time. Just when you think you’re making progress, a twist and a turn, and it’s all scrambled up again. Frustrating, yes, but it’s a stubborn unwillingness to back down from a challenge that keeps me going, and I suspect the same is true for you too.

And third, supply chain management is about relationships, and I’ve met many smart and interesting people over the past 17 years — industry professionals from manufacturing and retail companies, software and technology vendors, academics, and third-party logistics providers — and they continue to teach me new things and inspire me in different ways, and their passion and enthusiasm for supply chain management is highly contagious.

What about you? What drives your passion for supply chain management? Post a comment and share your story!


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A Pulse on Trucking Capacity and Rates

What’s happening in the trucking market? It’s the question everyone in the transportation and logistics industry seems to be talking about these days. Last week, J.B. Hunt reported its Q3 2014 financial results, and while a single company does not represent the market as a whole, the chart below basically sums up what I’ve been seeing and hearing overall:


This Week in Logistics News (October 13-17, 2014)

As you read this, I’ll be 30,000+ feet over the Atlantic, heading home from Frankfurt. With little time to write tonight, here’s the news that caught my attention this week:

Do Facebook and Twitter Need a Logistics Strategy?

Last month, Twitter announced that it was testing a new feature: the ability to embed a “buy” button within posts to let users buy items with just a couple of clicks, without leaving the Twitter app. According to a New York Times article:
The feature — initially limited to mobile versions of Twitter and aimed at selling limited-edition or time-sensitive items like T-shirts and event tickets — could… Continue reading

Do Your Business Relationships Suffer from Strategic Drift?

Even the seemingly most well-crafted contracts and business relationships can suffer from a common but dangerous ailment that I call Strategic Drift.

Strategic drift occurs when buyers and suppliers don’t work to maintain their relationship, or put in the work needed to keep abreast and update their strategic priorities as business happens.

I’ve witnessed Strategic Drift enough that I have decided to officially add it to the Vested